Softball Swept by Malone

Bre Willis
Bre Willis

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Mount Union's softball team dropped a pair of contests to Malone, 1-0 and 8-7, in non-conference play on Wednesday.

In the opener, Kristen Gromes (Navarre/Fairless) and Brittany Papp (Uniontown/Green) had doubles, but those two-baggers were the only two hits for the Purple Raiders.

The Pioneers scored their only run on an RBI double by Megan Lane.

Bre Willis (Navarre/Fairless) was the tough-luck losing pitcher. In six innings, she allowed one run on six hits while recording six strikeouts and two walks.

Brittany Larch, who ended up being the winning pitcher of both games, spun the two-hit shutout for Malone. She had three strikeouts and three walks.

Lane and Laura Ronk had 2-for-3 games in the first game.

The second contest featured much more offense, culminating with Kristen Atzenhoefer's go-ahead RBI double for Malone in the seventh.

The Pioneers opened the scoring with an RBI single by Lane in the first inning.

Brenna Longo (Moon, Pa./Moon) answered with a two-run Raider homer in the second. With the bomb, she plated pinch-runner Papp. Papp was running for Haley Martinelli (Austintown/Austintown Fitch), who reached with a single.

An RBI single by Elizabeth Sarkissian helped the Pioneers pull even at 2-2 in the fourth before Mount Union took its final lead.

Martinelli drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Longo and then scored on an RBI single by Marissa Earl (Massillon/Massillon Washington), putting the Raiders up 3-2.

The Pioneers struck with back-to-back jacks in the fifth when Ronk and Karre Thompson hit consecutive home runs, enabling the visitors to take a 4-3 advantage.

In the Raider fifth, Gromes and Jasmine Bentley (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) led off the frame with back-to-back singles, setting the stage for an game-tying RBI groundout by Mara Palombaro (Boardman/Cardinal Mooney). Gromes touched the plate, forging a 4-all tie.

Both teams tacked on three runs each in the sixth.

Atzenhoefer smashed a dinger, giving Malone a 5-4 lead. Ronk added an RBI single and the Pioneers capitalized on a Mount Union error to widen the gap to 7-4.

The Raiders struck back in their sixth. Sarah Woody (Uniontown/Green) hammered a one-out triple and scored on an Earl single. A double by Rachel Jesso (Mount Pleasant, Pa./Mount Pleasant) set the stage for Gromes' two-run single, which provided Mount Union's final runs while tying the game at 7-7.

Earl finished with a 2-for-3 game while Gromes and Bentley went 2-for-4. Rachel McAninch (West Jefferson/West Jefferson), who started in the pitcher's circle, had a double at the plate.

The Raiders will be in action again on Thursday with a 3:30 p.m. Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader at John Carroll.

Malone 1, Mount Union 0
Mount Union......... 000 000 0 -  0  2  2      (17-10)
Malone.............. 000 100 X -  1  6  0      (13-17)
Pitchers: Mount Union - Bre Willis and Mara Palombaro. Malone - Larch, Brittany and Ronk, Laura.
Win-Larch, Brittany(6-6)  Loss-Bre Willis(9-5)  T-1:25  A-86

Malone 8, Mount Union 7
Malone.............. 100 123 1 -  8 11  1      (14-17)
Mount Union......... 020 113 0 -  7 11  5      (17-11)
Pitchers: Malone - Snyder, Shelby; Krska, Jessica(5); Larch, Brittany(6) and Ronk, Laura.
Mount Union - Rachel McAninch; Sarah Woody(6) and Mara Palombaro.
Win-Larch, Brittany(7-6)  Loss-Sarah Woody(1-2)  T-1:56  A-83
HR MALONE - Ronk, Laura; Thompson, Karre; Atzenhoefer, Kristen.
HR MTU - Brenna Longo.
McAninch faced 2 batters in the 6th.